“Where do I even begin? I guess I should start by introducing myself; I was one of the Firefighter/Paramedics that received the call that you were in trouble. We immediately dropped everything we were doing, ran out into the bay, and jumped on the Engine. On our way to you, we talked about our game plan and what our roles would be as soon as we made scene. This is the way a lot of the calls begin, but after this point, they’re all different.
When we pulled up, the house was close to 100% engulfed in fire. And though most were positive you were already gone, we still hold onto that glimpse of hope. We worked and pushed so hard, trying to extinguish the flames enough that we could make entry and search for you…but we were unable to get to you in time.
We arrived on scene to find what was left of a vehicle. You were still inside, surrounded by twisted aluminum and steel, and very seriously injured. We worked nonstop, using every tool we could to extricate you from the vehicle… but time was against us, and you died right in front of our eyes. Other times you had already passed away before any of us got to you; but I swear to you we did everything we could to preserve your dignity while we cut up the vehicle to retrieve your body.
We came in to find you unconscious and without a pulse. We immediately gathered around you, interchanging jobs of CPR, giving you breaths, and administering medications. To this day, I have never seen a cardiac arrest worked so textbook perfect…but we were unable to revive you.
You were my first ever infant call. We ran in past officers and neighbors to get to you. I held your little body in my hands, doing CPR with my thumbs, while your parents screamed your name and held each other in the corner of the room. To this day, I have no idea how I held back the tears; I just remember praying, in a screaming inner voice, for God to take my life and let you live….but that wasn’t His plan that day.
I just wanted to let you know that I did everything I could to help you; I tried my very best. After the call, I sometimes look you up on Facebook, which some may see as a bad thing. But it helps me. I see you with friends and family, smiling and full of life; that’s how I’d like to remember you, but it’s hard. I cannot tell you enough how sorry I am that my best wasn’t good enough.
You don’t know who I am, and there’s a chance you never even saw my face, but I still remember yours. I carry you with me, and somedays I’m reminded of that more than others. You were someone’s child, a sibling, a parent, a human being, and I’ll never forget you. Because to me….you were more than just a call.”
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